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Old 01-11-2012, 05:39 AM
Bonnie Bonnie is offline
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Default Mississippi Gov. Halle Barbour Pardons 4 Killers

What are murderers doing serving as trusties in the governor's mansion and then receiving full pardons by the outgoing governor? Well, apparently it's all about "tradition". I do not agree with this business of governors and presidents having carte blanche to hand out pardons as they're leaving office.

Quote:
Barbour told the Associated Press for a 2008 story that releasing the trusties who live and work at the mansion is a tradition in Mississippi that goes back decades. Trusties are prisoners who earn privileges through good behavior.

Quote:
"Serving your sentence at the Governor's Mansion where you pour liquor, cook and clean should not earn a pardon for murder," Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley, a Democrat, posted Monday on his Facebook page.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...#ixzz1j7hk9Eii
Quote:
Outgoing Mississippi governor pardons four killers
By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 11:28 AM EST, Tue January 10, 2012

http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/09/justic...ons/index.html (see video)

(CNN) -- In his last days in office, outgoing Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour pardoned four men convicted of murder, a state official said Monday.

David Gatlin, Joseph Ozment, Charles Hooker and Anthony McCray received full pardons and were released at 1 p.m. Sunday, said Suzanne Singletary, spokeswoman for the Mississippi Department of Corrections. All four were serving life sentences and worked as trusties at the governor's mansion, she said.

"It is at any governor's discretion," said Singletary.

Gatlin was convicted of murder, aggravated assault and burglary of a residence, she said. Ozment was convicted of murder, conspiracy and armed robbery in a separate case. Both inmates were at minimum security level, she said.

Hooker was convicted in a 1991 murder, while McCray was convicted in a 2001 murder, Singletary said. The governor also recently pardoned Nathan Kern, who was serving a life sentence for burglary, she said.

Families of the men's victims told CNN affiliates WAPT and WLBT they are outraged by Barbour's decision.

Attempts by CNN on Monday to reach Barbour's office for comment on the pardons were unsuccessful.

In 1993, WLBT reported, Gatlin walked into the trailer where his estranged wife, Tammy Ellis Gatlin, lived and shot her in the head. The woman's friend, Randy Walker, survived a gunshot to the head.

"Is Gov. Barbour going to pardon us from our aches and pains and heartache that we have to suffer?" the victim's mother, Betty Ellis, asked WLBT. "Is he going to pardon a child that had to grow up without a mother? Is he going to pardon me from never being able to feel her arms around my neck again? What is Barbour going to do about that?"

Tammy Gatlin's sister, Tiffany Ellis Brewer, said David Gatlin served less time than her sister lived.

"It's completely unfair," she said. "I mean, he's in jail for 18 years. She was 20 years old when she died and had her child laying in her arms when he shot her in the head. And he's pardoned?"

David Ruth, who was the lead investigator on the case, said there was an apparent communications foul-up. Tammy Gatlin's relatives received a letter from the state parole board Friday saying David Gatlin was not going to be paroled and would next be considered in October 2012. They received a call the next day saying he was being pardoned, Ruth told WLBT.

Meanwhile, the family of Ricky Montgomery told WAPT they received a call from the department on Saturday reporting Ozment's pardon. Montgomery, 33, was a store clerk who was slain on the job. Ozment was convicted of his murder.

"Of course it's devastating," said Mark McAbee, Montgomery's nephew. "You know, we go through this and it's reliving it over and over again, when I don't think the general public has any idea of the things these convicts are doing."

McAbee said his mother was incredulous two years ago to learn Ozment had been assigned to work at the governor's mansion. She wrote the Department of Corrections, he said, which told her that he met the requirements and underwent a screening process.

"We have people out on the streets that are sex offenders that have to register," McAbbe said. "This is a man (who) killed somebody. This man took somebody's life, and it's not going to indicate that on any paperwork."

Phil Bryant, Barbour's successor, is set to be inaugurated on Tuesday.
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:27 AM
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For shame! I am actually shocked that Haley Barbour would do this! You expect it from an outgoing liberal governor but he's supposedly 180 from that!

Pardons are a blessing and a curse. They can be wise and fair when used, say, to pardon a person wrongly convicted or someone who has served a lengthy term for a non-violent crime. But for murder? I really am just shocked beyond belief.

You can't even say that first case was strictly a crime of passion as the killer shot and attempted to murder his estranged wife's friend as well.

Barbour must be senile, it's the only reason I can think of for this travesty of justice.
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:31 AM
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More details from the Washington Post:

Quote:
On the way into the Mississippi House chamber for the inauguration of his successor, Republican Phil Bryant, Barbour had no comment when asked by The Associated Press about the pardons.

“It’s Phil Bryant’s day,” Barbour said in response to repeated questions from the AP about what he would say to the victims’ relatives.

On Monday, state officials revealed that Barbour had given pardons to five men and that they’d been released.

The former inmates are David Gatlin, convicted of fatally shooting his estranged wife in 1993 as she held her baby and wounding her friend; Joseph Ozment, convicted in 1994 of killing a man during a robbery; Anthony McCray, convicted in 2001 of killing his wife; Charles Hooker, sentenced to life in 1992 for murder; and Nathan Kern, sentenced to life in 1982 for burglary after at least two prior convictions.

The list released Tuesday shows Barbour also granted a full pardon to Azikiwe Kambule, a South African man whose manslaughter conviction in a 1996 Mississippi carjacking and slaying drew international attention because he was a teenager when the crime was committed and prosecutors had originally sought the death penalty. In June 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from Kambule, who wanted to withdraw his guilty plea.

Prosecutors said Kambule and Santonia Berry killed social worker Pamela McGill in Madison County on Jan. 25, 1996, because they wanted the Jackson woman’s red 1993 Dodge Stealth sports car. Her body was found nine weeks later when Berry led authorities to it.
Unbelievable.
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:59 AM
Bonnie Bonnie is offline
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Yeah, I bet he doesn't want to talk to the families of these murdered victims. I hope he doesn't have any further political aspirations, if he does, I hope this comes back on him big time!

Do you know how many women are serving life sentences with no possibility of parole because they killed their abusive husbands. I wonder how many women are trusties at any governors' mansions and how many then get full pardons. I wouldn't be surprised to find out "none".

I just noticed I spelled Barbour's first name wrong in the thread title...oh well.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
trust·y (trst)
adj. trust·i·er, trust·i·est
Meriting trust; trustworthy. See Synonyms at reliable.
n. pl. trust·ies
1. A convict regarded as worthy of trust and therefore granted special privileges.
2. A trusted person



I wonder if Haley Barbour would invite any of these "trustworthy" murderers into his private home now as a guest, have a meal with them at his table and have them stay over in his guest bedroom.
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnie View Post


I wonder if Haley Barbour would invite any of these "trustworthy" murderers into his private home now as a guest, have a meal with them at his table and have them stay over in his guest bedroom.
Excellent point. These men will be neighbors to somebody . . . just not Barbour. He will probably live in a gated community. He will not live in fear like the next-door neighbor of one of these murderers. Very cowardly to do this on the way out the door, especially without talking with the families of the victims in order to get their input.I wonder if there is some details we are not privy to? Perhaps the cons who worked at the mansion saw something that good ol' Barbour would rather have kept a secret?
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:41 AM
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Update from Reuters: Mississippi judge bars release of pardoned criminals.

Thank heavens sanity has prevailed. At least, for the moment.
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Old 01-12-2012, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Play The Man View Post
Excellent point. These men will be neighbors to somebody . . . just not Barbour. He will probably live in a gated community. He will not live in fear like the next-door neighbor of one of these murderers. Very cowardly to do this on the way out the door, especially without talking with the families of the victims in order to get their input.I wonder if there is some details we are not privy to? Perhaps the cons who worked at the mansion saw something that good ol' Barbour would rather have kept a secret?
Or who knows what he had them doing for him. How could you as a governor, or a president, pardon men who have committed such crimes as these four men unless everything points to their innocence which this is not the case here. He gave them full pardons, and from what I understand, that means their records are wiped clean and their civil liberties restored. So even though they've left a trail of victims behind in their wake, they now have no record for it and are walking around free as a bird.

It's unconscionable!
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Old 01-12-2012, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by flo View Post
Update from Reuters: Mississippi judge bars release of pardoned criminals.

Thank heavens sanity has prevailed. At least, for the moment.
The article said the five men already released have been ordered to appear in court later in January. It will be interesting to see if they all show up. I really hope there are laws in place to rescind these pardons even with these men having been freed already.

We've seen how difficult it's been for truly innocent men to get out of prison and even then some haven't received full pardons, it's like they are free but still considered guilty of the crime. They have to "make a deal" in order to be free. The case of the West Memphis Three in Arkansas comes to mind (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/20/us...pagewanted=all). So to see a governor, with no thought for the victims or their families, just hand out full pardons to truly guilty men such as these just because they served as trusties in his mansion...because it's "tradition", it's beyond comprehension!

And I don't believe for a minute that he consulted with or considered recommendations from the parole board. One of the murderers had just been denied parole two weeks prior to this.
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Old 01-12-2012, 01:14 PM
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Definitely shady.
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